Tea Party Congressman to Hold Hearing on the Fate of Jesus

Rehberg loves Big Mountain JesusWho says Congress doesn’t work on issues that matter to Americans during tough economic times?

Montana congressman Denny Rehberg, co-founder of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus and Michelle Bachmann’s earliest endorser, has announced that he will hold a hearing this week on a crucial issue: a statue of Jesus at a ski resort.

For the last several months, Rehberg has been all Jesus all the time, obsessed with a small ceramic statue of Christ that sits on the edge of a ski run at Big Mountain Ski Resort in Whitefish, Montana.

There’s been a slew of press releases and a blitz of national TV appearances on shows like “Fox and Friends.”  He put up a Save the Jesus Statue website (constructed with his congressional office funds) and went on a whirlwind Save Jesus tour around Montana, with e-mail action alerts, a “draft legislative solution,”  and robo-calls to thousands of Montana voters, telling them that he is working hard to save Jesus and urging them to support him in this important work. He spent Veterans Day meeting with veterans to tell them that their support for him (Rehberg) in this important cause is crucial.

And now, the grand finale in Rehberg’s heroic effort to prove that he is pro-Jesus: a hearing about the statue, before a Congressional committee, this friday.

The small statue was erected in the 1950s on a piece of National Forest land that abuts the ski area, and the permit has now come up for renewal after six decades.  The Forest Service was notified by an “anti-establishment” group from Wisconsin that if it renewed the permit, it would be in violation of the establishment clause.  The Forest Service has thus considered options, one of which is to simply ignore the Wisconsin group’s threats.  Another option is (gasp) to move the statue a few feet onto private land.  That’s an outrage, says Rehberg.

Rehberg is five points down in his race against Jon Tester for the US Senate, so obviously he believes that a boost in his pro-Jesus street cred is needed to consolidate the evangelical vote.

Also, Tester’s star is very high among veterans, and has been so ever since he took office in 2007 and immediately made vets a centerpiece of his domestic policy.  Of course, Tester focuses not on statues, but on services–health care for veterans, jobs for veterans, loans for veterans, things that matter. Veterans like Tester, a lot.  But Montana Republicans (who after two decades of dominance have been virtually eradicated as statewide officeholders, thanks to Schweitzer, Tester and a resurgent Democratic party) believe that the veteran vote is a GOP birthright that can never be taken from them.

Tester also believes the statue should remain unmolested.  But after making his opinion known, he moved on to doing real work on things that matter, because he understands (unlike Rehberg who is a man-child) that if you are in Congress, you should be acting like an adult.

And guess who is coming to the Big Mountain area in a few weeks? You guessed it. Tim Tebow will be in nearby Kalispell, Montana, to talk at a fundraiser for a Christian School. Tebow is sure to weigh in on the Big Mountain Jesus issue.

After all, what could be more important?


132 Comments on "Tea Party Congressman to Hold Hearing on the Fate of Jesus"

  1. @thinkprogress Norquist: GOP will impeach Obama if he doesn’t extend Bush tax cuts.

    Montana Democrats: you can reverse red state collapse. Support our party now!

  2. Rehberg is ten points down in his race against Jon Tester for the US Senate…

    Source please at date of poll.

    Funny how you leave out who erected the statue and what their motivation and inspiration was given their sacrifice in service to our country.

    It is very odd how you seem to think it is an advantageous political move to insult people of faith.

    For you upset atheist progressives, Jesus was merely a man, Gandhi like, who began a movement to resist Roman oppression. For Christians, he is quite a bit more than that. There are people who worship Gaea through reverence towards trees. Should they be removed too?

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 29, 2012 10:29 AM at 10:29 AM |

      Wow! Right you ARE, craigster! Every veteran I know suffered and died so that Dopey Reeburp could some day defend the RIGHT to have a tawdry, gaudy JAYSUS statue on a ski hill in Montana! So profound……PROFOUNDLY STOOPID! I heard that next, Dopey Reeburp is gonna put on his armor, mount his horse (hope he ain’t drunk!) and go on a quest, kinda like a reglar Sir Dopey Gallhad lookin’ for the Holy Grail, to see if he can maybe find a Velvet Elvis on public land somewhere’s that’s bein’ threatened!

      Jeebus, craig. I truly did think that you were smarter than that! My bad.

      • Larry, I don’t care what you think.

        The statue was erected in 1953 to honor and memorialize the service of the 10th Mountain Division during WWII. They encountered many similar statues and icons in their mountain battles. Placing a similar statue on Big Mountain seemed to those surviving vets in the Flathead an appropriate act. This was their expression of public speech on public property.

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 29, 2012 10:47 AM at 10:47 AM |


          • Larry, the bullshit is all yours. That’s why I don’t care what you think. The Missoulian captures part of the history: http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_e22c53d6-fc56-11e0-995f-001cc4c03286.html

            Flathead National Forest Supervisor Chip Weber announced that he had withdrawn an earlier decision to deny a special use permit for the statue, which for decades has been situated on public land along a ski run at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

            Weber said new information that the statue may be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places prompted his decision, which was also influenced by the overwhelming show of support from members of the public…

            The special use permit was granted in 1953 to a local chapter of the Knights of Columbus, whose members installed the statue as a memorial to local veterans of World War II. When the troops returned to Montana, they told stories about religious shrines they encountered in the mountains abroad, and several of the veterans were instrumental in developing the ski resort on Big Mountain.

            Many of those veterans were 10th Mountain survivors.

            • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 29, 2012 11:28 AM at 11:28 AM |

              BULLSHIT! To ascribe that ALL members of the 10th agree with Sir Dopey Galahad’s antics is LAUGHABLE! Look, craig, the knights of COLUMBUS erected this thing, NOT the guys from the Tenth! The guys of the Tenth were from all OVER the country, not just the whitefish area. And they were NOT all knights of columbus I can assure you of that! Here’s the deal, craig, I actually KNEW guys from the Tenth, and they would find this bullshit LAUGHABLE! Stop insulting veterans, one of which is ME!

              Here’s Sir Dopey Galahad searching for the Holy Tawdry in Mejico!

              • Larry, have you been to the monument? I have been their yearly since 1959. There is a little plaque at the base: http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20120126/NEWS03/701269912/-1/NEWS03

                The 6-foot-tall concrete statue, nicknamed Big Mountain Jesus, depicts Christ in a light blue robe with his arms extended and is near the end of a chairlift at the Whitefish Mountain Resort, located on federal land in Montana. The statue has resided on land approved for use by a special-use permit granted in 1953 to Knights of Columbus Council 328 in nearby Kalispell. The council, which included 10th Mountain Division veterans, made the statue as both a memorial to World War II veterans and a reminder of the religious statues and monuments they saw while fighting in Europe. The plaque at the statue dedicates it to the 10th Mountain Division.

                • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 29, 2012 11:47 AM at 11:47 AM |

                  OHHHHH Sweet Jesus! Craig has BEEN to the mountaintop! You can stop debating now, craig. It’s over for you. But I do give your arguments a 10 for silliness! Come back when you get real.

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 29, 2012 10:46 AM at 10:46 AM |

        p.s. And for the record, I find it to be the height of blasphemy for a dipshit like Dopey to attach such undo significance to a guady statue for political gain! You theologians jump in here. Is this or is this NOT blasphemy by Sir Dopey Galahad, the errant, drunkin’ knight and defender of the Holy Tawdry?!

        • To many sects of Christianity, and Abrahamic beliefs, the statue itself is a blasphemy, a graven image. Regardless of that, to those who do not believe it a blasphemy, the difference between an icon and an idol, is that idols are worshiped for personal salvation/gain and that gain is put before God. To secularize this icon as a pawn in a political fight is exactly seeking that gain, supplanting what the image represents to what one can gain from it. So, yes, Dennis is committing a blasphemy.

          Simply put, this is not a religious argument, nor one of sentiment as Craig would have it. This is a Constitutional argument, one which makes Rehberg’s ploy to reinterpret the Constitution even more dangerous to the freedoms we should all be able to enjoy. That the 10th MD found it appropriate to place a statue of the kind they found in predominantly Catholic Italy on top of a mountain is even more problematic.

          • Rob, if Denny hadn’t picked this issue I don’t think Weber would have withdrawn his denial. Tester was nowhere in sight to protect the monument.

            • That’s kind of the point, Craig. No Legislator should be anywhere in sight to protect this monument, or to condemn it. This is a matter of Constitutional interpretation for the courts and the Executive. Other than to score political points, the legislature plays no role here.

              And it really is not a persuasive argument to claim that Dennis is forthright in protecting a chunk of concrete while Tester didn’t. Jon was a bit too busy saving the Veteran’s clinic in Great Falls, passing legislation that will assist our returning soldiers in getting an education or finding a job … You know, mundane stuff like that.

    • The statue was put there by man. The trees, well…

  3. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 29, 2012 11:56 AM at 11:56 AM |

    Bottom line? NO veteran, repeat NO veteran ANYwhere, has the RIGHT to impose his religous beliefs on ANYone in this country! PERIOD! This AIN’T the freakin’ Crusades! This AIN’T Italy! (as Rob pointed out) And Dopey Reeburp is NOT Sir Dopey Galahad! He’s simply our dipshit congressman soon to be out of a job! Hell, I gauran-frickin’-TEE you that I did NOT spend a year in Nam so that the freakin’ Nits of Columbus could undo the Constitution! Sorry bout that! If the Nits of Columbus want a statue, the Catholic chuch owns PLENTY of land where they can move it to! End of story.

  4. It seems to me that no one is really arguing against the statue, the point is who is doing more for veterans, and who is focusing on the most important issue to voters – jobs. Tester wins on both.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 29, 2012 12:12 PM at 12:12 PM |

      Um, Mark, I am! I do NOT tolerate the abridgement of the Constitution for ANY religeeious bullshit reason, PERIOD, ESPECIALLY such a tawdry, obviously political abridgement! Religious beliefs are PERSONAL and NOT to be put on public display on public lands! Hell, Jesus Himself said as much! Remember? We are NOT to make public displays of our faith for profit or personal glorification. THAT’S A SIN in anyone’s Christain faith! Yet this is EXACTLY what Dopey is doing!

      I hope that some member of Congress reads this blog so that during the debate, they will know that we’re NOT all like Sir Dopey Galahad the Retarded!

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 29, 2012 2:08 PM at 2:08 PM |

        p.s. Lest we forget, some of the most reprehensible, odious, evil chapters in history are those involving forced conversion! And the Catholic church was right in ther, buddy! Read your history! In Europe, where the Tenth saw these statues occured some of the most hideous dislpays of religious bigotry. Such as the Inquisition.

        You see, included in the thousands that were burned at the stake were many, many “conversos”, or Jews who had converted to Christianity out of the necessity of staying alive. And some of the Jews were quite wealthy. Well, hmmm, what to do what to do? Easy answer!

        TORTURE them in the Inqusition, then burn them at the stake! Problem solved! No more converso, but still remaining was their wealth! Hmmm. Again, what to do what to do. Easy answer. The Catholic CHURCH got it! Well, that little problem of what to do with the crispy heretic’s wealth was solved!

        Fast forward to modern day Montana. Again, in SPITE of our Enlightened Contstitution, Dopey Reeburp wants us ALL to believe as HE does! It’s a type of forced conversion! We are to RENOUNCE our beliefs in our beloved Constitution, and rePLACE it with some psuedo reeligeeous BULLSHIT that Dopey thinks takes precedence!

        This is a very bad idea. We are NOT a christian nation! ALL faiths are welcome here! And our founding fathers knew EXACTLY what kinda dipshit Dopey Reeburp is! Hence, they gave us a document to prevent this nonsense. Now, we must enforce it!

  5. Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 29, 2012 2:01 PM at 2:01 PM |

    Mhy cant you pick the latest Poll Craig which is already too old that says they are in a dead Heat! OMG By the way I trust the Chambers poll more as it has a cross section of Montanans not the GOP Poll!

    The statute is a graven Image,ie: Effigy, Simulacrum, Golden calf, Joss, Juggernaut… and against the will of Jesus, Does any christian really believe god is gonna be happy with this statute. The man of god didn’t even want churches in his name!

    If there is gonna be a statute for the tenth up there on the ridge now, I want it to be a soldier, then it doesn’t have to be Planted squarely on private land! Jesus didn’t bleed and die for our country in the war, those brave men did!

    • Norma, you reflect the attitude of the elite Left that thinks it knows better than the people, and will impose your judgement upon them as to what they need or is meaningful to them. The WWII vets already made that decision, without the help of your style of elitism, and picked the statue as their memorial, as their expression of meaningful public speech on public property to honor the vets of the 10th Mountain. The statue rested their overlooking the valley for over 50 years without any protests.

      This whole thing started with some busybodies from Wisconsin with toooooo much time on their hands, noses way tooooooo long to stretch all the way to Montana, and without any appreciation for the significance of the veterans that put it on the mountain. Now you and others stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those interlopers and against the Montanans and WWII vets who erected it.

      AS to you remark about the latest poll, why were you silent regarding Cowgirl’s erroneous assertion that Tester had a 10 point lead based on polling data from November?

      Although not a poll, here is a predicted outcome: http://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/?eventClassId=19#

      Go the the Senate races. Tester 41% Rehberg 59% chance of winning.

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 29, 2012 3:53 PM at 3:53 PM |

        How right you are AGAIN craig! We elitists are against the folks who erected this and their giant erection! I mean, who could be against such a noble, religeeous erection? Gotta be them darn elitist lefties who think they KNOW better than a bunch-o rightwing fundiwackmentalists fascists! Erection vs. Elitists! Whose side you gonna come down on? Sir Dopey Galahad came down SQUARELY and FIRMLY and FORCELFULLY on the erection! That’s just the kinda guy he is!

        But for the record, craig, explain for us just WHEN the Inquisition finally petered out so to speak, and WHEN the founding fathers were writing our beloved Constitution! Only mere years inbetween! You see, they knew EXACTLY what they were doing! They were PROTECTING the country against dipshits like Sir Dopey Galahad!

        Sorry, you lose again, craig.

        • Larry, the 10th Mountain fought the Nazis and their allies. To suggest that a current serving Congressman is equivalent to them is beyond the pale of all decency.

          Funny how you guys never say a peep about all the crosses and Stars of David at the very public Arlington Cemetery that mark and honor those that gave their lives in service to our country.

          Again, other than just to stir up trouble, why do atheistic Democrats behave like they just stared in to the face of a Medusa if they see a statue of Jesus? Larry, atheists like you only see Jesus as an ordinary man no different than Ghandi or the mortal men who likenesses grace Mount Rushmore. If a Christian finds something more meaningful in the statue, you turn to stone.

          This is not a winner in Montana for Democrats to behave this way and insult the memorial to the 10th Mountain vets.

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 29, 2012 8:25 PM at 8:25 PM |

            Jeebus, craig, if you get any dumber, you’re gonna have to change your name to skinnerflute! How in the hell do YOU know how “I view Jesus”? What an arrogant asshole you are.

            Look, the Tenth fought FOR OUR COUNTRY! And I know you never served, but you do have to take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States upon entry into the military! Guess you missed that part. NOWHERE in that oath does it say that you will be protecting the right of some Nits of Columbus to erect their erection on public lands! Actually, quite the contrary!

            And what a christian finds “meaningful” is TOTALLY irrelevant to the seperation of church and state!

            And craig, I grow weary trying to educate you. Are you REALLY saying that christians cannot be fascists? Did you MISS the entire Spanish Civil War? Or maybe the Ustasha in Yugoslavia? Or the Catholics in Germany who sided with Hitler?

            And you’re REALLY implying that fascists can’t serve in Congress? Ever heard of Prescott Bush?

            You get more ridiculous by the day. Advocating for the Contstitution, for the seperation of church and state, is NOT insulting anyone from the Tenth! Again, these guys are not here to defend themselves any longer, but the ones I knew would call you a sleazy weasel for using them to justify your bullshit!

      • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 29, 2012 4:03 PM at 4:03 PM |

        The ELite Left! Bwah hahahahahaha! I think Larry the Ranger answered your ridiculous comment well! Ill leave it at that!

      • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 29, 2012 4:11 PM at 4:11 PM |

        Craig, your boy Rehberg is gonna Lose! by a big margin! And tell me if the Markets were so right, why did they explode in 2008?????

        Sorry, the reason they are picking Rehberg is because 58% of his campaign money comes from PACS, corprats( as Releeh calls them), and “Citizen United” like Corp Attorneys! and he has no real individual money coming from the people at all! Where as Tester has 70% of his money coming from real people who will vote!

        • Your numbers are way off on both.

          • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 30, 2012 12:27 PM at 12:27 PM |

            No craig my Numbers are not wrong they come from Opensecrets.org! they even do the breakdown on page of the candidates if you know how to read a webpage of percentages! this is why Rehbergs bunch become as quiet as dead Houseflys when I show them those numbers in respnce to the BS Numbers on twitter! Secondly and I will ask you now,,, since you think your such a genius about Denny Rehberg… what has the man done for the state in the last 8 years???? Cuz I cant even get an answer from their communications director!

            Its all about how they slam Tester with Bogus BS Dude, and you are one of their biggest fans of Bullshit I have ever seen!

      • and the republi-cons…
        and three-party…
        don’t tell their fledglings what to think and do?
        and their massive corpse-rat asses…
        would never consider themselves above us all…
        since they own a big chunk of the dream scam also.

  6. The statue is Christ the Redeemer, and it’s found all over Christendom. There’s a huge example in Rio de Janeiro. Was it put on Big Mountain to honor veterans? Of course. But that doesn’t make it a secular object. It’s religious object, Christian, and in my opinion, Catholic. Which is fine — except that it’s on public land, a violation of church and state

    Is it of historical significance? To be polite, that’s a stretch. It’s not unique. Objectively, it’s a dollar store figurine on a modest dose of steroids, and belongs to a class with thousands and thousands of members. Those attempting to elevate it to the status of the Liberty Bell are falsely equating emotional importance with historical significance, and in some cases have allowed their feelings to convert the statue to a proxy for their religious and political convictions. When that happens, good people are set up to be exploited by unscrupulous politicians.

    This is not a situation without reasonable solutions unless politicians exploit it for political gain. Congress could authorize a land swap or sale, but that would not be consistent with the principle of consolidating public lands and reducing inholdings. Or the statue could be moved to private land, which is the solution I prefer. Surely the blessing the statue’s supporters believe it bestows will be equally strong whether delivered from private or public land, so only the constitutional conflict would be lost by moving the statue to private land. To me, the move’s a net plus.

    • James, the idea of moving the statue has already been considered. It is my understanding that given its age and method of casting, that it is far too fragile to move without risking significant damage.

  7. Craig, I’ve also read statements that it’s well maintained and in excellent condition. I think it can be moved with little risk provided competent engineers are in charge. We know how to move stuff in this country. In the 1930’s, the 200-inch glass casting for the Hale telescope was moved from New York to California. If that could be done then, a 10-foot figurine should be able to be moved safely a few hundred feet now. It’s close to an insult to American can-do to suggest we don’t have what it takes to make the move.

    Should it break and suffer the fate of Humpty Dumpty, it can be replaced with a replica and sprinkled anew with holy water. It’s not unique.

  8. Should it break and suffer the fate of Humpty Dumpty, it can be replaced with a replica and sprinkled anew with holy water. It’s not unique.

    I beleive it is unique given that it was put there by the vets as their memorial. To replace it with a knockoff would not honor their intentions or their efforts in having it cast and carried to its place on the mountain at their own expense.

    • I respectfully disagree. The statue is simply a material object. It can be destroyed and replaced without repudiating or dishonoring the intentions of the people who put the current object on public land. The intentions and efforts are unique to the group that put the statue on the mountain, but the statue itself is just building materials and paint. The intentions are what endure regardless of the object chosen to represent them.

  9. The statue is not moving, period.
    Congress will make it legal one way or the other, we will all have wasted time, but Jesus will still be there for a nice visit once in a while.

    By the way, has anyone noticed the snow’s sorta thin this year?

  10. Dave’s probably right. Rehberg’s swap bill probably will pass. And the statue will stand on private land, thereby validating the complaint that the statue’s occupying public land was a violation of the separation of church and state.

    Here’s my headline:

    Rehberg preserves separation of church and state with Jesus inspired land swap

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 30, 2012 4:20 AM at 4:20 AM |

      My headline? Onward Christain Bigots! It’s pure bullshit, and anyone arguing for it is simply a bigoted asshole attempting to elevate ONE religion over others, and thereby abridging our Constitution! The history of religious bigotry, hatred, and violence is well known to the world. Hence, America as decreed by the founding fathers was always viewed as an oasis from religious intolerance, in theory at least. But not any more with the rise of christian fascists! Their “Jesus” is gonna prevail one way or another! And THIS from the very assholes who claim to be such adherents to the Constitution! Yes, it is scientific as has been proven. They are ignorant assholes!

      Feel free to put THAT in your “column”, skinner!

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 30, 2012 4:22 AM at 4:22 AM |

        Oh sh*t! I forgot. craig said there’s no such thing as a christain fascist. Sorry, craig!

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 30, 2012 5:10 AM at 5:10 AM |

          p.s.s The founding fathers knew EXACTLY what they were doing. They knew that religious hatred was the most virulent kind of hatred in the world, even surpassing racial hatred. Read history! And they were right! There is NO hatred like religious hatred! For Dopey Reeburp to blithely abridge the seperation of church and state for bullshit political gain simply shows him to be the spineless weasel he is! For you see, if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything! Remember? That’s out Dopey. Still dumb as dogshit!

    • James, it would not validate the complaint. It would remove the need for further contentious argument over the war memorial.

      • Of course it validates the complaint. Otherwise there would be no reason not to let the issue percolate up through the established processes in the agency and courts.

        When an affiliate of the Catholic Church places a statue of Christ the Redeemer on public land, there’s a violation of the separation of church and state regardless of the motive. The folks wanting to honor the veterans could have chosen a monument with a secular theme, which would have been constitutional. They could have placed a statue of General Eisenhower, or an obelisk engraved with the names of local servicemen who perished in the conflict. Instead, they chose a statue of Jesus Christ. If a statue of Jesus is not religious, what is?

        There’s nothing wrong with contentious argument: our system of government is predicated on the belief that open and spirited discussion of controversies is vital to resolving them. By any objective standard, this is not very contentious. And it would be less contentious had the politicians urged letting the issue run its legal course, after which they would act if action were necessary.

        • Disagree, this merely removes the issue for people to argue about without anyone forgoing their position. The reason to do this is to avoid expensive and unnecessary legal action regarding the war memorial as determined by the dedication plaque. As I remember Toni Matt was one of those returning 10th Mountain vets who was instrumental in developing Big Mountain and deeply involved in creating the memorial to his fellow vets. As you may know there is a ski run named after him on the mountain.

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 30, 2012 12:17 PM at 12:17 PM |

            DAMN you’re good, craig! But for the record, could you point out just WHERE in the Constitution it implies that a veteran is able to AMEND the Constitution to suit their religeeous beliefs? For you see, I’ve searches and searched since you made your cogent comments, but I’ll be damned if I can find it! Could you help me out? For you see, I TOO am a veteran, and I would like to maybe in the future amend the Constitution to suit MY religeeous beliefs! Thanx in advance.

          • It seems to me, Craig that you’re positing a false dichotomy: that the statue can be a war memorial or a religious object, but that it cannot be both. That premise allows you to argue that the plaque and the intent to honor veterans makes the statue a memorial, not a religious object.

            I find that premise an artificial distinction. The statue is both a memorial to veterans, and a religious statue. The intent to memorialize WWII veterans is constitutional, but the religious statue is not and must not stand on public land.

            Any statue of Jesus, even if dressed in a GI uniform instead of robes, is a religious object. We can test that proposition with a mind experiment. Suppose we slapped a plaque reading “This is a War Memorial” on the Vatican, on the Sistine Chapel. Would the plaque render those objects war memorials and war memorials only, removing all aspect of religious character and practice from them? Not for me, but it would if your either/or but not both proposition prevails.

            The controversy emerged only after the Forest Service concluded the complaint had merit and decided not to renew the permit. Had the permit been renewed, the folks complaining now would have thanked the Forest Service for doing what they considered the right thing. But once the permit was on the path to denial, those wanting the statue to remain where it is became alarmed, fearing that the complaint would be upheld by the courts. Expecting to lose in the courts, they raised a ruckus urging a political solution. Even the ruckus validates the complaint.

            • James, we must look to intent to provide context. Neither the Vatican or the Sistine Chapel were built as war memorials.

              Again, it is very clear that the intent of the vets in choosing and installing this statue was to memorialize their service in the Italian, French, and Swiss Alps during WWII. It was meant to replicate the statuary they found there and press the point of peace to the sharp contrast of war.

              Larry, I have no problem whatsoever for you to start an effort to install a war memorial of your choosing on public ground that meets the approval for a use permit from the Forest Service as the 10th Mountain vets did over 50 years ago. Good Luck!!!!

              • We must use common sense when evaluating intent. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. The Big Mountain Jesus doesn’t pass the quack test when one argues that it’s not a religious object. If the intent in manufacturing a hunk of steel that is identical to a pistol is to manufacture a war memorial, or a playground toy, is the hunk of steel that’s identical to a pistol no longer a pistol?

                The statues of Christ guarding the Alps that inspired our soldiers were not put up as war memorials They were put up by religious people, by believers in the supernatural, to bestow spiritual, perhaps even physical, protection on travelers. The Big Mountain Jesus is an extension of that religious tradition. You can call it a war memorial, but it’s still a religious object, Christian, and Catholic — a Jesus is a jesus is a Jesus — and it has no place on public land.

                • James, it is a mistake in determining that intent to project one’s own views on the situation that occurred over 50 years ago. The history has been told and retold. The plaque memorializes their 50+ year old intent.

                  • The plaque is not the problem. And employing intent as a defense doesn’t cut the legal mustard. The form of your argument is that of a man accused of doing 90 mph in a 15 mph zone pleading “I didn’t intend to break the speed limit, Judge, so the facts shouldn’t be held against me.”

                • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 30, 2012 3:39 PM at 3:39 PM |

                  “We must use common sense when evaluating intent.”

                  James, NEVER use the c word on wingers. It’s Kryponite! BTW, I’ve greatly enjoyed your arguments on this topic. They are excellently written. Are you a liarwyer by chance? You should be!

              • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 30, 2012 2:23 PM at 2:23 PM |

                “Use permits,” are given for mines and picnic benches as well, they are only for non permanent stuctures and have always been for non permanent structure( Just like the statute), and this is why abandoned mines are closed and picnic benches are moved off Public land after a reason of time! The statue was considered nothing more! Keep up the goofy rhetoric dude I am getting a big laugh out of your arguments based on no facts!

              • When in the world did Jesus become a symbol of war, i.e. “war memorial”?

                • Jesus wants us to beat other countries just like he wanted Tim tebow to beat the steelers.

                  • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 30, 2012 3:23 PM at 3:23 PM |

                    Patriots 1, Jesus 0.

                    Kinda like this debate! REAL patriots, in other words folks who understand and love their contry’s Constitution, understand that craig’s arguments are pure bullshit! Poor Jesus is gettin’ his ass kicked a lot here lately. Better get a new coach for the team!…..or quaterback. Craig, YOU’RE FIRED, DUDE!

                • Dallas Reese, I can’t believe you are serious. Like Ghandi, Jesus is a symbol of peaceful resistance to oppression. When the 10th Mountain vets encountered similar statues in the European mountains they were struck by this symbol of peace juxtaposed to war’s deadly destruction and death. The Big Mountain statue memorializes that war experience.

                  • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 30, 2012 3:55 PM at 3:55 PM |

                    Craig, next time feed the horse only HALF a bale! For the horseshit is gettin’ REAL deep in here! Now you’re speaking for the guys in the Tenth! Are you channeling them? You know what they were thinking? Are they REALLY telling you to ignore the establishment clause? ALL of them?!

                    I think now that you’re simply playing. Your arguments are ridiculous. What does that do for your credibility, dude? It makes you look simple. Are we to now always think of you as simple in future debates?

                  • Craig, that’s reaching. Jesus is not, and hasn’t been for a very long time, a symbol of peace. He has never been offered as a symbol of peaceful resistance against aggression. Not ever, except to religious pacifists – most of whom were reviled during WWII. His icon is a symbol of God reborn offering salvation to all who believe in him, the everlasting covenant. It is a matter of faith.

                    Equating Jesus and Gandhi? Not a good place to go.

                  • Craig,

                    You’re the one that said the statue was a war memorial. SO which is it; a war memorial or a religous statue?

              • Craig, the huge hole in your argument is that last time anyone checked, The Knights of Columbus weren’t a veteran’s organization. It is a Catholic fraternal society and that’s who the special use permit was given to. It doesn’t matter whether they claim it to have been “built” as a war memorial. It is Jesus displaying the sacred heart, an icon of the KoC and the Catholic church. Please continue to argue context of the image with James until the cows come lowing home. You are avoiding the fact that, regardless of stated intent, a governmental allowance was given to a religious organization for a purely religious icon. Current precedent holds that to be a bit (a bunch) unconstitutional.

                • Rob, the 10th Mountain vets who were members of the KoC were the ones who sought to create the memorial of their war experience on Big Mountain. Specifically, Toni Matt was behind the effort. Originally, the statue was near the top of the T-Bar, now Chair 2. When the chairlift was installed it went beyond the old T-Bar end. When I first saw the monument in 1959 we had to ski over to the West through a trail in the trees and walk up to see it. That’s where my dad told me the story of why it was there. It never bothered anyone. My dad first skied at Big Mountain in 1949 after returning from the war and going back to school. He was Navy but he knew Toni Matt and others.

                  I think those 10th Mountain vets, if they were still alive, would vehemently disagree that their membership in the KoC, or working through the Koc, invalidated their intent to establish a meaningful monument as the memorialized dedication to the 10th Mountain as stated on the plaque.

                  When my father died many years later there was a military honor guard. There was a soldier that knelt down and said to my mother as he presented her with the folded flag, “On behalf of a grateful nation…” If our nation is truly grateful for the service of our WWII vets, and the 10th Mountain in particular, perhaps we can just let the statue which honors their service rest in peace and respected by all. Don’t sweat the petty stuff and don’t pet the sweaty stuff. Just my humble opinion.

                  • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 30, 2012 5:37 PM at 5:37 PM |

                    Touching, but we ALL grew up with WWII vets. They were our dads, our uncles, our teachers, our coaches, and friends of the family. Hell, even in college I still had teachers from WWII, and one from the Tenth. And the ones I knew where no nonsense and no bullshit. They would NOT approve of this. Service in the Tenth conferred NO special, particular right to violate church/state seperation regardless of the emotion and sentiment that you apparently attach to it. That is what you are implying, and for the hundreth time, it is bullshit.

                    It’s best when debating Constitutional issues to stick with facts and not emotion. And the facts have been laid out for you.

                    • Larry, what part of my saying to you that I don’t care what you think?

                      When you used one of your aliases to tell me that you had no respect for me when we were discussing Gabrielle Giffords on another blog, and I learned that it was you, the door closed to accepting your commentary. Fire away! I simply don’t care what you think or how you play the fool with your antics. The organ grinder is playing your tune. Dance like anyone cares.

                    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 30, 2012 6:23 PM at 6:23 PM |

                      Craig, it’s arrogant and insulting when religeeous nuts come to my door. It’s arrogant and insulting when religeeous nuts feel that they have the right to proselytize It’s arrogant and insulting when ANY religeeous group attempts to impose their beliefs on others by violating the church/state seperation on public property!

                      Now, where are you in this food chain? Don’t you get it? Stop insulting us with your religeeous bullshit beliefs! Their YOURS, dude! Not necessarily anyone ELSES!

                      And for the record, the most spiritual experiences I’VE ever had on mountaintops did NOT involve a tawdry, gaudy statue of CEEment Jaysus!

                      Have you never really been overwhelmed by the majesty of the Creator’s creation itself? Do you REALLY need CEEment Jaysus to take you there? Must you REALLY resort to the tawdry to find Jesus? First there was the word, and THEN there was the CEEment Jaysus! Which is it for you, craig? For me it’s the word!

                      Have you REALLY never been hiking in the mountains and suddenly come upon a holy place, a place where maybe there’s simply a rock cairn, a couple’a prayer flags and some tobacco? Have you REALLY never been magnificenlty overcome with a profound sense of spirituality in such a remote, beautiful place, and had a sign?

                      I feel sorry for you. A CEEment Jesus is a pisspoor substitute for the real thing. This is MONTANA! We have the real thing for folks who are looking. Seek, dude, you just might find! And be nice. Some day I just might explain for you what it’s like. Kinda scary really. You and the Creator. Alone. Just like Jesus in the desert.

                  • Craig, Larry’s point is well taken. Religious iconography does not get a “pass” just because of sentiment. The Constitution is often unforgiving in that manner. I’d like to say I can’t always agree with that, but I do. The Constitution is the law of the land by which we all agree to live together in relative harmony. I value that more than a hunk of concrete that makes Catholics feel better for celebrating warriors with the image of a pacifist.

  11. This is a religious symbol on public land. That’s a violation of the establishment clause. Move it. ‘Nuff said.

    • johnny, if that were true then the National Gallery of Art in Washington would never feature historical, religious art: http://www.nga.gov/press/exh/2871/index.shtm

      Context is everything. For the Big Mountain statue, it is a war memorial.

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 30, 2012 12:06 PM at 12:06 PM |

        Bullshit. You wingers DESTROY all art with which you disagree! The record is there. HOW long have the morons been attempting to destroy funding for the arts now? You see, craig, you well know that there is NO such thing as rightwing art! It doesn’t exist! Art is incompatible with the rightwing mind! Please list all the great rightwing writers. Aynus Rant maybe? Too funny.

        Nazis in action on art.


      • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 30, 2012 12:44 PM at 12:44 PM |

        Ah Craig keep changing the subject to fit your cause! we are talking about public land in Montana, that has a Statue of Jesus on it! Not a museum in DC, that has set aside Historical content of what religion is all about!

        The Museum Content in Washington also speaks to how many Jews were killed in death camps in Germany, because of their religion, and about all the Blacks who were killed by nasty evangelicals called the KKK! It speaks against the BS of religion as much as it defends the right to have a religion! But that is because Museums are set aside for that…. not Public Lands!

        What part of the stupid do you think you can pull over regular peoples eyes and ears! You are the very same group of stupid that is afraid of the Muppets, and that is why you wish to close down public radio and TV! The GOP has been afraid of PBS cause it has spoken the truth and sets people on the right path regarding American History and Heritage!

        You should be ashamed of yourself, for being that dirty part of America which wishes to bury the history and Law of America, so you can keep raping the minds and lands of our country with made up Bullpucky!

    • supreme court has not been strict in adherence…

      given its existence for nearly 60 years…
      the questions could be…

      does the monument substantially interfere with anyone’s right to worship as they choose at the site…ie is there a dictate about religious expression…
      does it substantially interfere with the function of the government’s role at that site.

      would appear to be moot. no?

    • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 31, 2012 2:06 AM at 2:06 AM |

      If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.
      — George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789

  12. Why are militant winger Christians always trying to force their beliefs onto us?

  13. Seems to me that Denny should be more concerned about whether or not Jesus will save him, rather than vice-versa. Who the Hell is Tim Tebow? Just kidding, but who really cares?

    • He is a really shitty quarterback loved by militant wingers everywhere. In a years time he will likely be out of football and moved onto his true career as a fundamentalist televangelist.

      • Obviously, you are a sore-loser Jets/Dolphins/Raiders/Chargers fan. As a secular Broncos fan, I taste sweet delicious misery in your tears …

        • ILIKEWOODS AKA Norma Duffy | January 30, 2012 8:02 PM at 8:02 PM |

          Iye Iye Iye Iye Iye, I picked the Patriots all the way, and will be enjoying my game dinner when they beat the NY!

      • Tebow does reasonably well for a fullback playing out of position.

        • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 31, 2012 11:14 AM at 11:14 AM |

          Actually I do think that if Tebow gets his training right in the next couple of years, He might be a great player! Cuz lets face it he did come off the bench with little pro training… he might be as good as Steve Young, but he needs to sit on that bench like Steve did and learn from a master( Joe Montana)! The problem is Broncos do not have a Good veteran Quarterback! They don’t have anyone TEBOW can learn from and Improve on! And sorry, I believe God has better things to work miracles around, then TEBOWS arm!

          • The problem is Broncos do not have a Good veteran Quarterback! They don’t have anyone TEBOW can learn from and Improve on!

            Uhmm, one could do a whole lot worse for tutelage than John Elway. If any y’all feel the need to talk football, please drop by my place. It’s something of a topic over there.

  14. To me this issues are three1-Neither Tester nor the Forrest Service opposes the swap, so why the hissy fit from Rehberg.2-Where is he focus on jobs and the economy. Rehberg is pretending to work on a non issue instead of the hard work needed to focus on the economy. 3-why isn’t Rehbeg doing something that would actually make life better for vets

    • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 30, 2012 12:47 PM at 12:47 PM |

      Right on Dan!!!!!! Rehberg hasn’t done anything for the state for the last 8 years! Notice how he can speak to any accomplishments (done deals). Its always what he is gonna do….. cause he hasn’t done shit for the last 8 years but eat at everyone else’s party!

  15. The Jesus I believe in cares more about helping people by making sure they have jobs to feed their families than some cement eyesore. Rehberg should be ashamed of himself.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 30, 2012 3:35 PM at 3:35 PM |

      Uh huh. OK. I see. WELL then, you’re talking about COMMIE Jesus! The sandal wearin’ Hippie PEACEnik Jesus! Sorry, HV, but fundiwackmentalists believe in RAMBO Jaysus! You know, the dude who SMITES all infidels and unbelievers!

      Jaysus has gone corporate now. Look, how many HIPPIE Jesus Mega Churches you see? There AIN’T any! For Rambo Jaysus promises followers one thing and one thing only. WEALTH! Be a good little moronic fundi, give all your money to Jaysus (rightwing radio, ie. family values channed, etc.) and by GOD god will reward you with riches! If he don’t, you’re doin’ sumthin’ wrong! Maybe not givin’ enuff!

      So, get a second job, steal the kids’ lunch money, do whatever you have to do, but somehow, someway, by a MIRacle, if you believe enuff, and GIVE enuff to rightwing politics and causes, by god you will be BLESSED, GRACED, ANOINTED, SHOWERED with god’s luv! (ie. moola!)

      How do I know? I listen to their horseshit a lot. The early tv preachers fleeced only granny outta her kids’ inheritance. The modern day preachers fleece the entire FAMILY! Hence, their “family values”!

      America, what a country! It’s a religeeious scam artist’s dream! The AMERICAN dream!

      • You have a profound misunderstanding of, and disrespect for the figure of Christ. Typical. We’d be a lot better off if churches addressed the worlds problems instead of Government and the ridiculous “non-profit” community of East Coast liberals.

        • “East Coast Liberals” might comprise as many as 21 million people, assuming a population of 38 million in those state that have seacoasts and are in the northeast and tend to vote Democratic. Now, if I take a broad swath of people, 21 million in this case, or 55%, and assume that they are normal people, some are going to be above average in intelligence, some below, but most average or hovering thereabout. But I find it hard to judge them as a group, unless they get their political philosophy by actually standing on the (Eastern) Seacoast, and I do not know what they would learn by doing that. But going by what you say, they must know things because they 1) live near the Atlantic Ocean and 2) in the Northeast.

          I’m going to take a stab here and suggest that they, like you, are products of schools, media, social stigmas, and have formed opinions based on limited input – American media and prejudices. But I’m also going to assume that perhaps has many as 4.2 million of them are above average in intelligence (20%). I am also going to assume that 60% of them, or 13 million, are like you average, and that another 20%, or 4.2 million, are below average. I am assuming you are not below average, but I do not know this.

          By that, I take you to mean that you are smarter than 4.2 million out of 21 million people who tend to vote Democratic in elections and who happen to live on the northern part of the eastern seaboard. Are you actually proud of that?

        • organized religion, as larry has mentioned, is responsible for more suffering in the world than any other pestilence save, possible, political entities…
          oh wait…
          organized religion IS politics…
          we are seeing the “better off” with some regularity…
          when was the latest child abuse case filed?
          this is not a liberal/con-servative issue…
          and it you want that route…
          seems like the mega-CONservative churches have a rich pile of doo hidden in their robes…lets see…jimbo bakker, jimmy swiggurt, timmy damn haggard…etc etc…
          and the system probably uses the same tactics that CONgress does by choose a certain lamb to go to slaughter so the rest can PARTY ON.
          the first foolishness here…
          is the fantasy that there is a molecule of moral distinction between your “liberals” and your “conservatives”.
          hot damn.

  16. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 30, 2012 9:03 PM at 9:03 PM |

    “We’d be a lot better off if churches addressed the world’s problems instead of Government and the ridiculous “non-profit” community of East Coast liberals.”

    Oh, you mean like in Iran with the Ayatollahs? Wow. That worked out real well, din’it? What you are suggesting is called theocracy. It’s nonsense and it’s insane. You see, Drildo, the only people who believe this are low intelligence folks who are superstitous and unable to think for themselves. BINGo! That’s you! Take a few history classes sometime, Drildo. And then report back just where theocracy worked.

    • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 31, 2012 1:19 AM at 1:19 AM |

      Ah hem, Larry isn’t that what we have been fighting Lately Larry? Government based Theocracies? Like the Taliban, Bin Ladens little group of misfits, AlQaeda, and now Iran has been giving us trouble. Drill baby drill thinks thats the way to run a country? Like them?


      They are all religious based governments! When Libya wished to be free they had to fight a religious nut as well, Hussein thought everyone would start backing him in Iran when he started using religion… didn’t happen did it! Religion didn’t save any of these regimes, and the moment we start to use it, we become no better then the terrorists we fight today!

      Thomas Jefferson wrote:

      “If I be marching on with my utmost vigor in that way which according to the sacred geography leads to Jerusalem straight, why am I beaten and ill used by others because my hair is not of the right cut; because I have not been dressed right;
      because I eat flesh on the road; because I avoided certain by-ways which seem to lead into briars; because among several paths I take
      that which seems shortest and cleanest ; because I avoid travellers less grave and keep company with others who are more sour and
      austere ; or because I follow a guide crowned with a mitre and clothed in white? Yet these are the frivolous things which keep Christians at war.”

      Man was he right!

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 31, 2012 6:54 AM at 6:54 AM |

        TJ is my all time favorite old dude from American history. He was truly unique. Thanks for the quote. It went very well with my morning coffee.

        I believe these types of debates with the religeeous wackos are indeed very important, for religinuts feel themselves to be on the asscendancy. And not only that, they have very much inserted themselves where they don’t belong. In politics!

        And the KoC, no matter WHAT craig says, is a political organization! So, the placing of the statue on public land is even more reprehensible. I lost all respect for the Catholic church when the bishops required that their letter be read in all churches TWICE no less, the one that stated that if one voted for Obama, you risked losing your soul! So, according to the bishops, a McCain/Palin ticket was the ticket to save your soul!

        Sorry, but that is demented! And evil. And they’re at it again THIS election cycle too! I’m done with’em.

  17. Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 31, 2012 1:21 AM at 1:21 AM |

    Sorry I meant Iraq regarding Hussein!!!!

  18. Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 31, 2012 1:25 AM at 1:25 AM |

    Oh hey here is another tasty Morsel from our forefather Jefferson:

    I am for freedom of
    religion, and against all manoeuvres to bring
    about a legal ascendancy of one sect over

    Put that in your pipe GOP and smoke it!

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 31, 2012 3:54 PM at 3:54 PM |

      Norma, one cannot SMOKE a pipe with one’s head up one’s ass! There’s a warning on each pack of tobacco sold so’s that rightwingers won’t do that!

  19. Dear Craig, I am interested in selling my daughter into slavery as the Bible says I may do in Exodus 21:7 but I’m worried that I might get arrested. Can you get your man Rehberg to convene a Congressional Hearing into the matter so that I can exercise all my Bible-given rights. The Bible is pretty much a rough draft of the constitution, as you surely know from your TEA Party seminars.

    Dale Boland, Helena

    • Dale, nowhere in this discussion have I asserted or defended that the 10th Mountain memorial on Big Mountain is a matter of religion or religous freedom. It’s a matter of respecting the service of those vets and the monument they created to mark that service. It’s hard to take your comment seriously as if you really had taken the time to read and digest my numerous comments on the post topic.

      • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 31, 2012 11:55 AM at 11:55 AM |

        Thats not how you started you argument Craig!

        the statue as both a memorial to World War II veterans and a reminder of the religious statues and monuments they saw while fighting in Europe!

        It is still considered religious even by the Knights of Columbus!

        • Norma, I suggest you reread what I wrote:

          Craig Moore
          January 29, 2012 at 10:42 am · Reply

          Larry, I don’t care what you think.

          The statue was erected in 1953 to honor and memorialize the service of the 10th Mountain Division during WWII. They encountered many similar statues and icons in their mountain battles. Placing a similar statue on Big Mountain seemed to those surviving vets in the Flathead an appropriate act. This was their expression of public speech on public property.

          • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 31, 2012 2:21 PM at 2:21 PM |

            Unfortunately, for you… It was a direct quote from one of your Arguments from this page of comments! I rest my case!

            • Norma, you have no case as you do not understand the context of my comments.

              In my very first comment here addressed to Cowgirl I wrote:

              Funny how you leave out who erected the statue and what their motivation and inspiration was given their sacrifice in service to our country.

              Plucking part of a comment to fit your meme makes you look silly.

              • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 31, 2012 6:26 PM at 6:26 PM |

                People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character. … you have none!

    • Wouldn’t it be enlightening to have Tester commit to a firm position on the memorial as either respecting the veterans who created or reprsenting a matter of church state separation. Where does Tester fall?

      Also on the issue of church state separation, where do both Tester and Rehberg stand over the pointed pushback, over Obamacare that Tester helped pass, by the Catholic Church being forced by the federal govt to perform measures the Church finds contrary to its very core beliefs? See: http://www.adw.org/query2011/newsite_news.asp?ID=960&Year=2012 Do both Tester and Rehberg object or defend this federal intrusion?

      IT’s helpful for voters to know where the politicians stand.

      • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 31, 2012 12:25 PM at 12:25 PM |

        Craig you have it all wrong! it is not a Federal intrusion on Religion it is a RW religious intrusion on the Constitution! You know the law that protects all other religious freedom! Since when has christain religion been chosen as a state religion??? Never!

        “Why have Christians been distinguished above all people who have ever lived, for persecutions? Is it because it
        is the genius of their religion ? No, its genius is the reverse. It is the refusing toleration to those of a different opinion which has produced all the bustles and wars on account of religion.”

        Thomas Jefferson 1776

        The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

        George Washington, letter to the congregation of Touro Synagogue, Newport, Rhode Island, August, 1790

        Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.

        George Washington, letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792

        “No citizens … were more sensitive to Washington’s role as an upholder of liberties than the religious minorities. These groups were less anxious to cultivate what they had in common with other Americans than to sustain what kept them apart. Washington recognized this, just as he recognized the tenacity of regional and economic interests, and he took pains to explain precisely what national unity meant to him. He carried to his countrymen a vision of “organic” rather than “mechanical” solidarity, a union based on difference and interdependence rather than uniformity of belief and conduct. Washington’s understanding of the kind of integration appropriate to a modern state was not shared by the most powerful Protestant establishments, the New England Congregationalists and Presbyterians; but other religious groups could not have been more pleased…. Acknowledging in each instance that respect for diversity was a fair price for commitment to the nation and its regime, Washington abolished deep-rooted fears that would have otherwise alienated a large part of the population from the nation-building process. For this large minority, he embodied not the ideal of union, nor even that of liberty, but rather the reconciliation of union and liberty.”
        — Barry Schwartz, George Washington: The Making of an American Symbol (1987) pp. 85-86,

        By Testers Quietness on religion alone… He has given hope that religious freedom still exists! Something the RW Christians actually Fear!

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 31, 2012 4:04 PM at 4:04 PM |

          Thanks. Great quotes. I am learing a lot. The founding fathers had the rightwing dipshits in mind when they wrote these things. Man did they know what they were talking about. They KNEW their history and the evils that had occurred in the old world as a result of the fundiwackmentalist wackjobs! Craig is right in there!

          • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 31, 2012 7:17 PM at 7:17 PM |

            Larry the Democrats have had fights with the Federalists, the Whigs, the southern Dixiecrats, not to mention, the religious Right, yet we have won every war of words. It was tough, long, and at times bloody… but those who have reared their ugly heads and voices in this country over the last 200 years, have always been beaten back because of the Constitution, and the American people … as it will now, in this fight also!

            This old dog can still bite back, and bark a warning to others! and there are thousands like me and you running around!

            Democracy for all, will always be the best way forward, the least painful, and the best engine of innovation for this country! Period!

      • I think Tester’s ACTIONS in the Senate speak loudly and clearly about where he stands on Veterans. Where are Rehberg’s actions? Oh, there aren’t any…on Veterans or any other issue. Rehberg talks it, Tester walks it.

        And on the other issue of Obamacare, hospitals, especially religion affiliated hospitals, are tax exempt. They all receive that benefit at the expense of the rest of us. If they want to give up their tax exempt status so they can get off the gov’t dole and be free from gov’t mandates, then their objections might be more meaningful.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 31, 2012 3:52 PM at 3:52 PM |

      Too funny! Luv it.

  20. Craig, so it is your position that the statue of Jesus is not a religious figure ? That’s laughable.

  21. Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 31, 2012 1:15 PM at 1:15 PM |

    Here’s a another little snippet of Brotherly love from our first president George Washington. See, he did not give a hoot who the person was who worked on his Mt. Vernon home while he was in Washington DC, as long as they were good workers!

    “If they are good workmen, they may be of Asia, Africa, or Europe. They may be Mohometans(Muslims), Jews or Christians of any Sect, or they may be Atheists.”

    George Washington, letter to Tench Tilghman asking him to secure a carpenter and a bricklayer for his Mount Vernon estate, March 24, 1784

    Oh shudder the thought! I can see the RW cringe now! Yes RWingers their were Muslims at the beginning of our country who were Americans! They not only built on Jeffersons estate, but helped to build the White House as well! There were even Chinese laborers, and business men of the day, and they were all treated with respect by our first president! So what happened since then… to the Hospitality to immigrants and diversity in our nation?

    When did you become so blustered against change!

  22. This page — http://www.flatheadsecular.com/jesus-shrine-debate/ — has the story on the shrine published by the Whitefish Pilot in 1954. It’s worth reading. A catholic clergyman was on the site selection committee. This whole situation is about Catholicism run amok.

    • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | January 31, 2012 7:21 PM at 7:21 PM |

      Yea see it was put up as a religious article first and foremost! Tenth my Arse!

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 31, 2012 8:41 PM at 8:41 PM |

        HOLY SH*T! Moore was lying the entire time! Um, Craigy, why DIDN’T you mention that the original plaque had been COVERED UP? And that the guys who came up with the idea were skiers? And Catholics? What bullshit! Debate by omission. What a tactic. A new plaque? Really. That’s what I call holy shit!

        • I think Craig was misinformed, not lying. He relied on his father, the men with whom he grew up, and the plaque on the statue. But,like me, he trusted when he should have verified. I often disagree with Craig, but I’ve never thought him to be arguing in bad faith. We need to cut him some slack on this one.

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 31, 2012 8:57 PM at 8:57 PM |

            Maybe you’re right. But Craig seems to have spent a lot of time up there. Pretty hard to believe that he hadn’t see the original plaque, and he also didn’t mention that they added a fence in violation of the lease. What’s next? A fish fry up there?

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | January 31, 2012 9:15 PM at 9:15 PM |

            These bishops are odious! Is it any wonder that decent people are leaving the church daily? THIS is part of the reason that makes this statue so offensive to decent people everywhere. We do NOT want religion imposed ANYWHERE, espescially on public lands and in public policy. I believe that craig knows exactly what he is doing. He’s attempting to exploit this issue for his rightwing masters, only it appears to be backfiring.

            Here’s your new and improved catholic church. Once again, they’re going after Obama. And I call bullshit on the bishops!


          • James, thanks for the information. Yes, I was relying on a variety of sources both from 1959 and currently. The NYT, WP, Flathead Beacon, and other news outlets all carried stories confirming my memory. In reality it probably took a confluence of different people with different personal stories and with different purposes working together to install the statute. The Whitefish Pilot article talks about reaching the top riding a chairlift. IN the summers the T-bars were removed and single person riding conveyances were used. During the winters the original plaque was not viewable under the snow. I have only seen the statue during the winter.

  23. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | February 2, 2012 6:28 AM at 6:28 AM |

    The Tenth saw no condoms in Europe! So, they want NO condoms here outta respect for their service! Quick, someone alert craig!


    • Larry, what part of this did you not understand when I posed it above http://mtcowgirl.com/2012/01/28/tea-party-congressman-to-hold-hearing-on-jesus-and-whitefish/#comment-40803

      Also on the issue of church state separation, where do both Tester and Rehberg stand over the pointed pushback, over Obamacare that Tester helped pass, by the Catholic Church being forced by the federal govt to perform measures the Church finds contrary to its very core beliefs? See: http://www.adw.org/query2011/newsite_news.asp?ID=960&Year=2012 Do both Tester and Rehberg object or defend this federal intrusion?

      IT’s helpful for voters to know where the politicians stand.

    • One think more Larry. I have learned that the Wisconsin atheist group plans to sue the Forest service of granting a new 10 year permit. When they come to tear down the statue and haul it away, you should take great comfort over how this matter has united so many people of diverse backgrounds in joyous celebration by destroying this little bit of history. Just think how the people of the Flathead and throughout Montana will join hands in such common cause and sense of victory over reducing the statue to a pile of rubble.

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | February 2, 2012 3:23 PM at 3:23 PM |

        Craig, no need to re-fight the Civil War, re-found the country, or reinvent the wheel! The founding fathers already FOUNDED the country! Now, if you don’t like that, well then might I suggest some nice middle eastern country with a theocracy! For THAT is exactly what the founding fathers were concerned about!

        And let’s face it. There ARE tons of inbred Dominionists and Christian Reconstructionists who want to do just that! Just as there are lots of inbreds up north like Gen. Robert E. Skees who want to re-fight the Civil War!

        You don’t like what the founding fathers left us. Tuff sh*t. It is what it is! A damn inspired Constitution! Duffy has already done an excellent job of posting the actual founders on these matters. Your rebuttals are simply so much nonsense compared to their eloquence.

        But HEY, I hear that Iran is nice this time of year

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | February 2, 2012 3:42 PM at 3:42 PM |

          Little bit of history my ASS! Hell, I’M older than that gaudy CEEment monstrousity! And I DON’T consider myself to be an important part of history just yet! But sorry, craig, Jesus looked NOTHING like that! He as black you know. Deny THAT, dude

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | February 2, 2012 3:47 PM at 3:47 PM |

            Oops! Should read he WAS black! AS the ace of spades! And so was GOD! ‘Cause man was made in God’s image!

            Oooo! I just LUV pissin’ off the wacko crowd! But hey, the TRVTH is the TRVTH! I din’ invent it! It’s scientific!

            So, craig, you’re so damn smart! (tee hee) WHEN did Jesus start appearing white in art?? Huh? Huh? Huh? Why can’t we have a BLACK Jesus up there?????????????? A REAL Jesus! Instead of that lily white Imposter????

  24. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | February 2, 2012 4:13 PM at 4:13 PM |

    Git DOWN wid Jesus! The dude was BLACK, man! Deal with it! BLACK! I know how much Gen. Robert E. Skees and Pastord Bulbdim hate to admit it, but Jesus was black!

    Sir Godfrey Higgins informs us that “In all the Romish (Catholic) countries of Europe, France, Italy, Germany, etc., the God Christ, as well as his mother, are described in their old pictures to be black. The infant God in the arms of his black mother, his eyes and drapery white, is himself perfectly black. If the reader doubts my word he may go to the Cathedral at Moulins—to the famous Chapel of the Virgin at Loretto—to the Church of the Annunciata—the Church at St. Lazaro or the Church of St. Stephen at Genoa—to St. Francisco at Pisa—to the Church at Brixen in Tyrol and to that at Padua—to the Church of St. Theodore at Munich—to a church and to the Cathedral at Augsburg, where a black virgin and child as large as life—to Rome and the Borghese chapel of Maria Maggiore—to the Pantheon—to a small chapel of St. Peters on the right hand side on entering, near the door; and in fact, to almost innumerable other churches in countries professing the Romish religion.

    “There is scarcely an old church in Italy where some remains of the worship of the black virgin and black child are not to be met with. Very often the black figures have given way to white ones and in these cases the black ones, as being held sacred, were put into retired places in the churches, but were not destroyed, and are yet to be found there…

  25. I posted an analysis of the situation, drawing on the documentary history, at http://www.flatheadmemo.com yesterday. But a warning is necessary. If you support keeping the BMJ where it is, you might consider stocking up on Prozac, Valium, and your favorite bourbon before reading.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | February 3, 2012 9:35 PM at 9:35 PM |

      And a great read it is! Pretty much settles the bullshit argument for keeping CEEment Jesus on public land AND proves what an Ass in the Hat Dopey Reeburp is!

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